You often hear about the threat of sanctions being imposed on countries on news bulletins, but do economic sanctions really work, and what kinds of measures can be employed to promote diplomacy and fairness? The infographic below provides an insight into how sanctions work with a string of examples and case studies.
Economic sanctions are designed to promote peace and prevent countries stepping out of line by cutting off or threatening to disrupt financial agreements, for example, trade deals. Sanctions can be imposed by a single country (unilateral) or a group of nations (multilateral), and they are most commonly used to maintain national security, prevent terrorism, protect human rights and democracy and eliminate the production of illegal arms and weapons.
In 2012, the EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, introducing an embargo on the sale of arms, military support and the supply of equipment, in addition to freezing the assets of Robert Mugabe and imposing a travel ban. The US supported the sanctions, but as you can see from the infographic, the results were negligible. In contrast, attempts to promote peace and protect citizens in Guinea between 2005 and 2010 were successful. Far-ranging, multilateral sanctions were approved to stop violent oppression overseen by military leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara.
Not all types of sanctions are as effective as others. Moderate changes in policy are the most successful (success rate 51%), with the disruption of military services least effective (21%). In the main, sanctions are most potent when applied to countries with coherent political systems, with threats often falling flat when aimed at failing states and dictatorships.
Infographic Design By Norwich University